Father, what a joy it is to be gathered here today as your people to give glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is a good and necessary time that allows us to encourage one another in the goodness of the gospel. We need to hear and be near to one another, connected by the fibers of the gospel. To remind one another who is at the center of that gospel. We so easily forget: we are not the center of things despite how hard we try to put ourselves there. Because when we trace all those fibers we find out very quickly we’re not the ones holding things together, Christ is the one holding all things together. Christ is holding us together. He is the center, he is the source of all hope and joy, and he is the one who gives us identity and value. Not ourselves. Father, forgive us for making ourselves the main character. Forgive us for putting our glory above the glory of Christ. The glory we conjure for ourselves withers on the vine, but Christ’s glory is preeminent and it is eternal. Spirit, help us to see we’re not at the center of all things, Christ is. And help us to see the relief we find in realizing we’re not the main character. The weight is off of us, because Christ has already carried it. May we live lives for the glory of Jesus and not our own. It’s in the wondrous name of Jesus Christ we have gathered and in his name we pray all these things, Amen.
Father God, Thank you for this beautiful day and for the gift that it is to live in a land where we may freely gather in your Name without fear of persecution or danger. For you, God, are the reason that we gather, the reason that we sing, the reason that we exist. You have created us and knitted us together in our mothers’ wombs. You have created immeasurable beauty around us, you who form the mountains and create the wind, and declare to man what is his thought… You make the morning darkness, and tread on the heights of the earth- the Lord, the God of hosts, is your Name, and we praise you this morning! Father, how can we keep from singing? How can we keep from praising you? How can we keep from ascribing all glory and honor to you, our Redeemer and our King? Yet so often, Lord, we live our lives as if we are the center of it all. So often, make our plans, fill our schedules, and coast through our days without even acknowledging your saving grace or all that you have done for us. Jesus please forgive us. Please turn our navel gazing eyes toward you. Lift up our eyes… stir our hearts. Do what you must to turn our eyes upon you and you alone, Jesus. Spirit, we pray that right now, in this place, at this very moment, that our hearts would be softened toward you and that a fire would be ignited for you in our spirits. Let those who know you, Lord, come alive with renewed awe and passion, but most especially Lord, let those who do not know you feel You wooing them with your love and grace. Let them find comfort in your Truths and your steadfast arms by receiving your gift of eternal life and accepting you as their Lord and Savior. Lord, may we all find peace in the assurance of your promise that those who believe in You can know that they have eternal life. There is no greater gift. When the storms and challenges of this life rage, and we are tempted to despair… help us to turn to you as our refuge. Help us to reside fully in you, Jesus, with full assurance of both your presence and of the eternal salvation that faith in you provides. Thank you Jesus. Thank you does not seem adequate … please let our songs and our words be pleasing to you and be an offering poured out in love overflowing from our hearts. For it is in your beautiful Name that we gather and ask all of these things… And all God’s children said together… Amen.
You are the mighty creator, the giver of all life, and the sustainer of the universe. We humbly ask for your forgiveness and grace this morning, for we have sinned against you time and time again. Thank you for sending your son Jesus to live the perfect life we could not, to die the death we deserve, and to rise from the dead, once and for all making us right with you. Thank you for this community of believers and the chance to connect and live life with them. We love you and we thank you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
God, we cry out to you. We sing and praise you from the depths of our hearts and we ask that you would hear us. And help us to listen to you. Father, we come as your children, seeking your forgiveness for we are all guilty of not trusting you and your ways. We follow our own hearts, our gut, our emotions, our logic, but we don’t seek and follow you. We like the idea of a loving God that answers prayers but we don’t want to conform to your good and perfect will which is to love you more than anything in this life and to die to ourselves. Lord, help us. For by your spirit, we can overcome the desires that linger in our flesh because you overcame sin, evil and even death. Your victory is our victory and your resurrection is our resurrection so that we can overcome our jealousy, bitterness, worry, impatience, hate, addictions, and replace those with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Thank you Jesus for winning the battle on our behalf! Help us to live in light of this truth and let it guide us back to you over and over again. May we recount your faithfulness and steady our hearts as we walk with you. Amen
Heavenly Father, we are your children and we come before you with hearts full of praise this morning. We bow humbly before you and cast our crowns before the creator of all things. How great and mighty is your name oh King of kings and Lord of lords, for you are the everlasting God, the alpha and omega, who was and who is and who is yet to come. Your glory is evident in all of creation, from the tiniest particles to the largest and most distant stars in our universe, they all sing your praise . . . and we do as well, Lord.
But sometimes we fail. Sometimes, we’re too busy and we forget to praise our creator. Sometimes, we’re drowning in whatever life is throwing at us and we’re blinded by the storm and the waves and we forget the one who has authority over that storm and who has authority over those waves. Sometimes we choose to not praise you because it’s inconvenient, or we’re not at church or we’re with the wrong group of people. Father, forgive us for being so weak-minded and forgetful. Forgive us for rejecting our creator instead of relying on him. Forgive us for neglecting to acknowledge the one who made us and who loves us and who wants what is best for us.
Thank you that our salvation is not dependent on our power or our goodness or our works, but is dependent on your perfect power and your perfect goodness and your perfect work through Jesus Christ our Savior. Thank you for the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross that covers our sins with his blood so that we are made righteous in your sight.
Lord, we ask that you work your will in our lives and may that work continue today as we hear your word this morning. In your Name we pray Amen.